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Federation of the Evangelical Christian Churches
Statutes  

  

Please note : the following statutes constitute the standard statute model. They are those of the FECE – France.

The statutes of each national FECE entity shall be identical to this model and will only vary as required by the specific rules and laws of each individual country.

 

Table of Contents

I - CREATION, PURPOSE AND DESIGNATION

II –HEADQUARTERS AND DURATION

III –COMPOSITION

IV MEMBERSHIP AND CONDITIONS 

V FEDERATION RESSOURCES

VI THE FEDERATION’S RELATIONSHIPS (BOARD AND GENERAL MEETING) WITH ITS MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS

VII OBSERVERS

 

VIII ADMINISTRATION

               A. THE  FEDERATION COUNCIL

               B. THE GENERAL MEETING 

 

IX MODIFICATION OF THE STATUTES

 

X DISSOLUTION OF THE FEDERATION 

 ________________________________________________________________

 

I - CREATION, PURPOSE AND DESIGNATION

 

Article 1 

Under the name “Fédération des Eglises Chrétiennes Evangéliques” (Federation of Evangelical Christian Churches), a union of religious associations is created which have agreed to abide by the present statutes, constituted in compliance with French laws and regulations, specifically the laws of December 9th, 1905 and that of  July 1st, 1901, as well as the  decrees of March 16th, 1906 (Section III) and August 16th, 1901. The object of this Union is to insure the public exercise of protestant evangelical worship and to meet its expenses and needs, as well as rendering  various services and activities which are legally associated with it, with the specific intention of promoting the Christian faith. We intend also to insure the Federation’s interests, defense, and representation.

 

II –HEADQUARTERS AND DURATION

 

Article 2 

Its headquarters is located at: 1665, route de Carpentras, 84170 Monteux – France. It may be transferred to another location upon the proposal of the Federation Council, and following ratification at the General Meeting. 

 

Article 3 

The duration of the Federation is without limit. The fiscal year begins on 1 October and ends on 30 September

 

Article 4 

The Federation precinct is situated within France and its territories. The Federation may establish relations of cooperation with church Federations situated outside of its defined precinct.

 

III –COMPOSITION 

Article 5 

The Federation is composed of:

- cultural associations (law of 1905) which proclaim the Gospel. The Federation strives to insure their growth, as well as the multiplication and development of cultural associations in the respect of their various expressions.

- retired ministers. These can request admission as individual members, in the recognition of the ministry which they accomplished, following proposition from the Board of Directors, and after ratification at the General Meeting.

 

IV MEMBERSHIP AND CONDITIONS  

Article 6 

To be part of the Federation, the desire for membership must be expressed by a legally constituted association (French law 1905 association), or by a pastor in retirement, and these shall abide by the present statutes, respect the confession of faith, and abide by the Federation’s internal regulations (see documents in Annex).

The procedure for this is as follows: 

a) The Council of the church, the community, or the retiring pastor is to submit a written request to the Federation President who designates a delegate with the intent of visiting the applicant for an exploratory discussion. If the opinion of the delegate is favorable, the President forwards the request to the Federation Council. 

b) Following a favorable opinion by the Council, the church formulating the request is presented before the General Meeting of the Federation. 

c) The General Meeting has sole authority to accept or reject an application of membership. Associations retained during the General Meeting vote undergo a probationary period which, in any event, is not to exceed two years. A final General Meeting vote will then confirm the application, or reject it.

d) Those associations who participated in the foundation of the Federation are not subjected to the probationary waiting period.

e) Associations well-known to the Federation which request membership may exceptionally be accepted without the probationary period following a unanimous vote at the General Meeting.

f) Retiring pastors of Federation member churches are accepted as individual members without any probationary period. 

 

Article 7 

All members of the Federation, including those still with probationary status, will fulfill their financial obligations to the Federation, so enabling it to meet its running costs, by the payment of annual dues whose amount is determined at the General Meeting. Those with individual membership (ie. retired pastors) are exonerated from this obligation. Each member association must individually meet its expenses and service costs..

 

Article 8 

Shall cease being part of the Federation without this departure terminating the Federation’s existence: 

1/ Associations or individual members who signified their resignation from the Federation by registered letter (with returned signed receipt), addressed to the Federation President following a deliberation of their own council. 

2/ Member associations who, for two successive years, will not have met their statuary financial contributions (ie. will not have paid their annual dues) to the Federation, and have not been represented in the General Meetings of the Federation, will be removed after a notice of three months subsequent to having been summoned - by registered letter (with returned signed receipt) - to conform to the Federation statute protocol. 

3/ May also be removed from the Federation membership roster

a)     Associations or individual members who have not fulfilled their obligations imposed by the present statutes, regarding their confession of faith, and/or conforming to the Federation’s internal regulations, following a summons without result (ie unanswered) by registered letter to that association President.

b)     Member associations who, either following a modification of their statutes, or through certain actions, would have placed themselves outside the membership requirements put forth in the present statutes enabling them to remain part of the Federation.

c)      Member associations who, by their actions, will have compromised the honor or consideration of the Federation.

 

Expulsion from the Federation may only be decided at the General Meeting, and this by a simple majority vote of those present or represented, the quorum being 50% of the Federation roster plus one. If an expulsion is to be evoked at the General Meeting, the president of the association in cause shall be summoned by registered letter at least 15 days before the General Meeting. If the association president does not respond to the summons, either in person or in the person of a designated representative, the expulsion decision will be signified to the president by registered letter.

 

Article 9 

The member associations will by no means be held responsible for commitments contracted by the Federation; sole the Federation by its own ressources shall bear responsability for such committments;

 

V FEDERATION RESSOURCES 

Article 10 

The Federation’s ressources break down as follows: 

a) Statuary contributions and voluntary offerings by member churches, destined to meet the expenses of worship (Section IV) and other receipts covered by the French law of December 9th, 1905. 

b) The product of collections and contributions made by and for the Federation and destined for common actions.

c) Regulatory and permissable subventions.

d) Gifts, donations and inheritances as permitted by law.

e) Interest and income revenue from equities and properties belonging to the Federation. 

 

VI THE FEDERATION’S RELATIONSHIPS (BOARD AND GENERAL MEETING) WITH ITS MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS  

Article 11 

The management of all activites of the member associations (worship, budget, real estate, various productions) are of their sole competence, responsibility and authority. These associations may, however, choose to participate, in accordance with their convictions and within their budgetary possibilities, in any production (ie. written, visual, etc.) and any actions which are supported and recommended by the Federation as part of its objectives (evangelization, education, biblical instruction, and in the preparation of ministries...)

It is understood that the Federation will not hold proprietory rights over of these productions. 

 

VII OBSERVERS

 

Article 12 

The Federation Council may, if it so chooses, in a spirit of unity and fraternal cooperation among churches, solicit and name observers from other denominations in known and acknowledged ministries . These nominated obervers will be permitted to to participate in the works and deliberations of the Commisssions Council, Departments, as well as in the General Meetings in a uniquely advisory capacity. Their number shall not exceed one third of the Federation Council.

 

VIII ADMINISTRATION

               A. THE  FEDERATION COUNCIL

 

Article 13 

The Federation is administered by a Federation Council which will be constituted by at least four members, and by no more than eight.

These members shall be elected for 3 years and one third of them shall be elected (or reelected) every year so as to insure the continuity necessary for the running and administration of the Federation.

The first elected Federation Council members shall therefore have a shorter first term. They will be reelectable, and shall be designated either by a random draw, or on a voluntary basis. Election to the Federation Council is done by secret ballot. The Federation Council President shall only serve a maximum of two successive terms.

 

Article 14 

The Federation Council elects among its members a Board of Directors which may have:

·A President,
· One or several Vice-Presidents,
· A General Secretary and possibly an Assistant Secretary,
· A General Treasurer and possibly an Assistant Treasurer,
· One or several Assessors from its membership

 

The Federation Council meets at least once a year. Decisions are taken by a majority vote of those present and represented. In the case of a tied vote, the vote of the president breaks the deadlock.

The Federation Council has broad power to insure the running of the Federation and the meeting of its objectives, in accordance with applicable legislation.

The Federation Council establishes with the assistance of the Federation’s General Meeting any Commissions and Departments necessary for the running of the Federation in every field where this is indispensable for meeting the needs of the member associations: judicial, fiscal, educational, biblical, theological, training, and ministry preparation, regional and national operations, churches relation, ethics, etc.

The Federation Council names and establishes the representatives for these Commissions and Departments, and fixes their fields of competence, and the attribution of their powers.

The Federation Council determines the rules of procedure and presents them before the General Meeting, which alone is authorized to proceed with any modifications of them. The General Meeting  then proceeds with their adoption.

 

Article 15

The President calls and chairs the General Meetings, meetings of the Federation Council, and Commissions or Departments. He represents the Federation in all acts of civil life and is invested with powers to this effect. These powers may be delegated by him to a member of the Federation Council. He may present himself before the courts in the name of the Federation, as both plaintif or defendant, make appeals, and sign powers of attorney. He may also delegate the Commission and Department presidencies in the Federation.

Nevertheless, in order to accept compromises and arbitration, the President must have acquired the prior approval of the Federation Council. The Federation Council will have been summoned for this purpose, and the ensuing decision taken by the majority of those present. 

 

Article 16

The General Secretary is in charge of correspondence and the archives. 

 

Article 17

The Treasurer is in charge of all that concerns the management of the property of the Federation. To fulfill any act of disposal, he must have acquired the prior approval of the Federation Council in a decision taken by the majority of those present. 

The Treasurer has the power to open any bank or postal account in the name of the Federation, and may deposit and withdraw any funds by his personal responsibility.

 

Article 18

The Federation Council is invested with broad powers to take or authorize any acts necessary for the smooth running of the Federation.

Only travel expenses concerning counsel for the Federation along with expenses brought about by meetings with other partner organisms shall be met by the Federation. 

 

 

               B. THE GENERAL MEETING 

 

Article 19

The General Meeting of the Federation is composed of the following:

               a) Delegates of the member “cultural” associations (cf. French law of 1905) These are

               designated by the Council of every association, but every association shall have only one

               vote when motions are adopted. The Council of the member association decides who will        express its single vote.  that indicates the person authorized to express vote.

b) The Federation Council members are appointed directly by their association.

c) In the absence of delegates, a member association (or “church”) can choose another member as its proxy holder; yet no member may detain more half of the votes in a General Meeting.

d) Each individual member has a right to vote, but only if he has not already been named as a  delegate by another association member. Voting rights may not be accumulated. 

 

Article 20

General Meetings must be signified with at least fourteen days prior notice. The General Meeting Board shall be that of the Federation Council.

The Ordinary General Meeting receives the report about progress in the work of God and then… approves the accounts of the financial year. The election of the members of the Federation Council is done at the General Meeting by the absolute majority of the present (or represented) members of the Federation (“association”). The Ordinary General Meeting examines all questions on the agenda submitted by the Federation Council.

If the number of members of the Federation Council should fall below four because of death, resignation, or for any other reason, the Federation Council will select a replacement by co-optation who will sit until the next General Meeting.

The General Meeting comes together at least once a year following a summons from the Federation Council President; or else following a written request by at least one forth of the member associations: requests which shall be addressed to the Federation Council President by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt.

At least one half of the members of the Federation must be present or represented (by signed and dated proxy) for a General Meeting to legitimately deliberate. When this quorum is not attained, a second summons will be issued with an explanation of the situation.  Those present (regardless of their number) shall then be enabled to deliberate and vote, the quorum requirement in this case being fulfilled.

 

Article 21

The Secretary will keep a written account of the deliberations of the General Meeting, and this will be co-signed by the Federation Council President.

 

 

IX MODIFICATION OF THE STATUTES

 

Article 22

A modification of the Federation statutes can be decided only by an Extraordinary General Meeting called to this effect with at least fifteen days prior notice.

A modification of the statutes can be decided only if the following conditions are met:

a) The Extraordinary General Meeting is called with at least fifteen days prior notice

b) The nature of the proposed modifications of the statutes is be made known to each Federation member at the same time as the summons.

c) As in the normal General Meeting proceedure, the modifications must be accepted by the majority of those present and represented by proxy; The same quorum and second summons preceedures will apply.

An Extraordinary General Meeting may precede or succeed an Ordinary General Meeting, provided that the Meeting is called following the aforementioned standard proceedure.

 

 

X DISSOLUTION OF THE FEDERATION 

 

Article 23

The dissolution of the Federation can be decided only by an Extraordinary General Meeting called especially to this effect, with at least fifteen days prior notice.

This Extraordinary General Meeting can legitimately deliberate only if at least 2/3 of the Federation members are present or represented (by signed and dated proxy) in view to decide on the dissolution. 

In case of dissolution, the Extraordinary General Meeting shall designate a liquidator who, if need be, shall transfer the assets of the Federation, in accordance with article 9 of the French law of July 1, 1901, to an Association or Federation which pursues the same objectives evoked in article 1 of the present statutes. 

 

Article 24

In the event where the Extraordinary General Meeting called with intent to modify the Statutes or dissolve the Federation does not attain the necessary quorum, a new Extraordinary General Meeting will be called in the same manner and delays. It shall be empowered to legitimately deliberate by a majority of the 2/3 of the Federation members present or represented by proxy, in any number.